Portrait Guide

Use the guide below to find a base price for the portrait size and type that fits your style.  If you don’t see the size you had in mind, please feel free to request a free, no-obligation quote for an alternate sized canvas using the Contact Form at the bottom of the page.

And don’t forget to check out these Frequently Asked Questions

Pastel PaintingFull Color

2011-03-22 Parker mini 

Canvas Size Head/Shoulders Add a Subject
5 x 7 $150.00 n/a
8 x 10 $200.00 n/a
9 x 12 $275.00 $125.00
11 x 14 $325.00 $150.00

More canvas sizes available on request.

Single commission/multiple portrait discounts available.

 Detailed Graphite or Charcoal DrawingBlack & White

2011-04-22 Rudy small 60 dpi

Canvas Size Head/Shoulders Add a Subject
5 x 7 $150.00 n/a
8 x 10 $200.00 $90.00
9 x 12 $275.00 $125.00
11 x 14 $325.00 $150.00

More canvas sizes available on request.

Single commission/multiple portrait discounts available.

Graphite or Charcoal Line DrawingBlack & White

2003 - Portrait - Milo - 5x5 80 dpi

Canvas Size Head/Shoulders Add a Subject
5 x 7 $100.00 n/a
8 x 10 $125.00 $60.00
9 x 12 $175.00 $80.00
11 x 14 $190.00 $90.00

More canvas sizes available on request.

Single commission/multiple portrait discounts available.

All prices shown above are for:
Head or head/shoulder poses.
– Simple background (includes base paper color or simple color gradations in complimentary colors).Does not include:
– Shipping and handling – in most cases less than $15.00
– Detailed backgroundS
– Collars, chains or tack
– Full-body poses


What size canvas should I choose?

When commissioning a portrait, choosing the canvas size is often the hardest decision to make.   Keep in mind that the subject being painted will almost never span the entire canvas from edge to edge and that background “space” will always surround the subject to some degree.  Allowing for this space is very important for both visual appeal and framing purposes.

In the Portrait Guide above, I list prices for 4 industry-standard frame-ready “canvas” sizes,  which achieve several necessities.  The first being that these sizes are standardized for framing, making them much easier and cheaper to frame using pre-made mats and frames, saving you a lot of money of custom framing.  Secondly, the price for portraits of these sizes fit easily into most people’s budgets while still offering plenty of room to render convincing detail in most mediums.

Of course, your choices aren’t limited to these four sizes.  I can create your portrait in any size you desire, just ask for a free, no-obligation quote.

  • The 5×7 canvas is suitable for simple line drawings and small detail graphite portraits, and can accommodate small dogs and cats as well as other small pets such as birds, mice, guinea pigs, turtles, lizards and the like. It can possibly be used for pastel work, but the detail is greatly reduced.
  • The 8×10 canvas is best used for single subject, head study charcoal or graphite portraits. The fine nature of these mediums allow for quite a bit of detail on a smaller canvas.
  • The 9×12 canvas works especially well for head-only, or head/shoulder portraits in all mediums, but especially for pastel paintings. It also works well for full body or dual-subject portraits in graphite or charcoal. This size is just big enough to include nice detailing, while still offering a certain amount of “wow” factor when matted and framed.
  • The 11×14 canvas is suited to all of the above types of work, plus up to 3 or 4 subjects in both head-, head/shoulders and full body portraits of almost any kind of pet. It is exceptional for large breed dogs and larger pets such as horses and donkeys.

Can I have more than one pet in a portrait?

Yes, you can. Additional subjects may be added to portraits for an additional cost, but not all canvases are big enough to support more than one subject, as noted in the Price & Size Guide.  As a general rule: the bigger the canvas – the more room there is to add additional subjects.  But the more subjects that are included on a canvas – the smaller the subjects will be overall.

What kinds of materials do you use to create your portraits?

The support (“canvas”) that I use most is heavy, artist-quality acid free paper. My primary mediums include pastels, graphite, and charcoal in all their varied forms. Pastel and charcoal are very soft, dry mediums that adhere to the paper’s texture, or “tooth”. Pastel painting are generally sprayed with a workable fixative upon completion, which helps (but does not completely) reduce smudging of the final painting. Care should always be taken when handling pastel paintings. 

Will you mat and frame my portrait?

No. Matting and framing are very personal choices that are best made by you or a professional framer after the artwork has been received.  Also, I have found that shipping costs of framed work is risky, and is often more expensive than if you had it framed locally. However, if you will be using pre-made frames and mats, I will be more than happy to suggest color combinations that will work well with each portrait.

How will my portraits be shipped?

All portraits are shipped flat.  The face of the portrait will be protected by a non-abrasive paper and sandwiched between stiff paper board before being carefully packaged.  Shipping and handling costs are not included in the portrait price and depend on the delivery method used.  I typically use USPS Priority Mail, but you may choose any type of shipping method you like. 

Can I make copies of my portrait?

No. When you commission me to create a work of art, you own the original for your personal viewing pleasure.  But unless otherwise granted by me in writing, I retain all copyrights to the images I create, including the right of reproduction.  Should you desire prints, or personal items such as stationary or clothing, with your portrait on them, I will be more than happy to assist you with that for a reasonable fee.

I want to commission you to do a portrait, what is the process?

The first thing to do is contact me using any contact form on this site and let me know you’re ready to begin.  I will call you and we will discuss all the details, including mediums, sizes, prices, deposits, payments, shipping, and schedules. 

For security reasons, both yours and mine,  I require a non-refundable deposit equaling 30% of the total cost before I will begin the work.  The entirety of this deposit will be put towards the total cost of the portrait. 

During very busy times, such as Christmas, the number of portraits scheduled may require that you be put on a waiting list  – if this is the case, I may ask for a small Reservation Deposit to guarantee your spot on the schedule.  This deposit will be put toward the total cost of the portrait.

The following pages may also be helpful.

  • The Pictures FAQ page has all the information you need to select the best images for your portrait and the do’s and don’ts of sending them.
  • If you need to take a few new pictures of your pet, please check out Taking Great Pictures for great tips and tricks to getting the best shot.
  • If you’re ready to begin,  would like a quote, or just have some questions, please feel free to contact me using the form below.

Contact Form